NEA’s advocacy continues to make a difference for students and educators across the nation. And your activism and outreach to Members has been an integral part of that process. Last week’s legislative achievements are proof.
Below are various funding highlights, but one of our biggest achievements is the full repeal of the 40 percent excise tax on “high cost” employer-sponsored health plans scheduled to take effect in 2022; the effective date had already been postponed twice. Once in effect, insurance companies would pay the tax, but the burden would be borne by the 180 million Americans with employer-sponsored health coverage—including many educators—in the form of benefit reductions, higher deductibles, or both.
- FY 2020 Funding Bill:
- $450-million increase for Title I grants
- $410-million increase for IDEA
- Increase to $25 million funding for full-service community schools, 43 percent higher than last year’s funding level
- $550-million increase for Head Start
- Provides $25 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health for research on gun violence as a public health issue—the first time since 1996 that Congress has funded such research
- Provides $7.6 billion to the Census Bureau to ensure all people are counted in the 2020 Census
- Extends for two years the Secure Rural Schools Act, which expired at the end of 2018
- Raises by 3.1 percent pay for educators on military bases and other civilian federal employees
- Rejects the Trump/DeVos efforts to cut education funding by $7.4 billion and rejects their plan to expand federal funding for private-school vouchers
- National Defense Authorization Act: Reverses a provision in the tax law of 2017 that treated as taxable income the moving expenses of federal civilian employees working overseas and provides 12 weeks of paid leave after birthing, adopting, or fostering a child
These achievements underscore the importance of our engagement in the issues that matter to communities across the nation.